How Do You Know What to Sell? #EveryoneStartsAtZero
Guided Learning by Mark on Fullback and Friends | Day 2: Customer Relationships – How Do You Know What to Sell?
Ok so you are just starting out or you want to take your business to the next level. What’s the first thing you need to do?
Think of a product to sell; get a logo designed; build a website; open a new shop or spend hours producing an all singing all dancing business plan?
Whilst they are obviously important I don’t think any of these things are the first thing you need to do. The first thing I think you need to do is to BUILD A LIST. In fact the biggest thing you need to do throughout your business journey is to build a list and keep building it.
A simple list? You’re having a laugh right? What’s on this list?
The list is a list of YOUR CUSTOMERS. It can be a list of emails; a list of telephone numbers; in electronic format or on paper. It doesn’t really matter. You just need a list of customers and their direct contact details.
Why? Why not think of a product first?
Put simply you need someone to sell to. You need a market. Thinking of a specific product to sell isn’t the first step. You need someone that wants your product and a way of making an offer to that person. You can’t make an offer if you don’t know who they are; where they are or what’s important to them.
But more importantly – it’s not really about the list, it’s about the RELATIONSHIPS you have with people on that list. Selling is about relationships. Having a relationship with your customers or potential customers is the biggest and best way to answer the question ‘What should I sell?’. You can ask them or research their needs.
If you want to answer the question ‘How Do You Know What to Sell?’ – identify your customer first; establish what they need most and sell it to them. Solve their problems. All successful selling is based on establishing a need first. I’d like to make business more complicated than that but I can’t. If you’ve been in business for a long time you’ll really identify with this. Sometimes when we get stuck or are looking to grow we forget the basics. Check out Caine’s Arcade again. He really understood his customer’s needs and went out of his way to build an arcade for them. It was easy for him because he was a customer too. He loved arcades. This really brings us to another question ‘Should you sell something you love?’
I’m not sure. I think you should love what you sell and love what you do. However I’ve always gone against common start up advice and said don’t start a business based on a hobby. Obviously everyone is different but say for example you love flowers or gardening. You love to wind down and relax with flowers. Don’t become a florist. Don’t sell flowers. There’s a massive difference between pottering to a flower shop and getting up at 5am to get the best flowers from a supplier. Working late (or is that early) to get flowers ready for a customer’s wedding. Your experience of it changes. You can often start hating the thing you loved. It’s better to sell something that’s ‘Important to You’.
This leads me to a very simple exercise I consistently use to establish what to sell.
I start with my customers and brainstorm ‘What’s important to them?’. If you don’t have any yet use imaginary customer profiles and do internet based research. There’s so much info you can find online.
Then I brainstorm ‘What’s important to me?’
At some point the answer will be exactly the same. Never fails. This is when you can start looking at a product to sell.
Give it a try. If you’re struggling send a message via The Journal or comment below. I’ll help you.
To recap the best thing to do to work out what to sell is to:
- Build a list of Your Customers (existing or potential)
- Establish ‘What’s Important to Your Customers?’ (ask or research them)
- Establish ‘What’s Important to You?’
- Where your customer’s needs and what you want to sell match – create a product
4 simple steps.
By the way I would add one final step. Once you create a product just check the market is big enough. I’ll probably talk about that another day though.
5 simple steps.
To help you more and give you inspiration I’ve curated a set of Guided Learning Links that explore this topic further. Check out the links and add your answers to The Journal. If you’re new and not sure how to use the Guided Learning then please read our FAQS at: http://fullbackandfriends.com/guided-learning/status-and-faqs/#FAQ3
Guided Learning Links
Why is it important to specialise in selling just one thing?
Why do you think it is important to have a list of customers?
Why is it important to have a very targeted list of customers?
Why is it important to “start now and improve as you go”?
Why do you think it is important to establish your customer’s needs before you “sell” them anything?
Guided Learning Journal
Submit your answers and any questions you have using the following link:
Look out for ‘Be Amazing, Serve the Customers You Have (Your Store, Your Way)’ at 5pm tomorrow.
Important Information, Support and Useful Links For This Series
Guided Learning Conversations, Emails and Subscriptions are managed by Tyrer Sorrel. Tyrer Sorrel is the trading name of Mark Bryce. Tyrer Sorrel will never spam or share your details without consent. The subscriptions are free and safe: http://www.tyrersorrel.co.uk/howsafe.html.
By purchasing an item from Tyrer Sorrel or participating in a Series or Event you agree to the General Terms and Conditions of Tyrer Sorrel published at http://tyrersorrel.co.uk/Webproducts/Terms.htm. Please do not purchase or participate if you do not agree with these terms and conditions.
Collections, Series and Programmes are subject to change.
Tyrer Sorrel take every care in the preparation of emails, briefings, information centres, news items and links. However Tyrer Sorrel and their Associates cannot be held responsible for the opinions expressed, accuracy of information within them, or any consequence arising from them. Inclusion of products or services are not an endorsement of those products or services by Tyrer Sorrel or their Associates. We use material that we believe has been placed in the public domain. Sometimes it is not possible to identify or contact the copyright holder. If you would like us to make the correct acknowledgement please contact us at http://www.tyrersorrel.co.uk/mailform/tabbedreg.html.
The Guided Learning is designed for use on mobile phones and tablets. Please be aware of the ‘File Size Warnings’ if you are using your mobile phone and you have a limited data plan.
When you visit a link that has log on functions you do not need to log in or register. The links/articles are presented for information only from across the web. We are simply saving you hours of work searching for information. They are not our sites.
We check all links before we post them to make sure they are secure and working correctly. We only use links that show a green Norton Safe Web Rating and will also often visit the site report to see reviews, location and ownership. Sometimes there may be temporary issues with a site after we have checked it. If you do click a link and it takes you to an unexpected page, asks you for personal details or asks you to download software please do not continue with this page and report it to us. Always practice safe web surfing and ensure your security software is current and up to date.
Need help or support? You can get support, help or coaching throughout the programme by adding to The Journal; adding Mark Bryce to your Google+ Circles or commenting on this post or the linked post on Facebook.
Series Website: https://www.facebook.com/fullbackandfriends
Not sure how to use the Guided learning? Read our FAQS at: http://fullbackandfriends.com/guided-learning/status-and-faqs/
Subscription Form for this Series: http://eepurl.com/WmQ9P. Select #EveryoneStartsAtZero in the ‘Join Group’ box.